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Serbian referendum voter turnout 8.9%

Written by The Frontier Post

BELGRADE (RIA Nov-osti): The turnout for the five-hour referendum on changes to the Serbian constitution in the field of justice was 8.9%, the vote is peaceful, the Republican Electoral Commission (RIC) said.
“From 7.00 to 12.00 (14.00 Moscow time) on the territory of Serbia, 8.9% of the total number of voters voted… For comparison, in the 2020 parliamentary elections by 12.00, the turn-out was 18.01%,” members of the commission said at a briefing in the REC.
Voting, according to them, takes place without incident.
Voting in the referendum takes place on Sunday from 7.00 (9.00 Moscow time) to 20.00 (22.00 Moscow time) at 8,029 polling stations in Serbia, with the exception of Kosovo and Metohija. Over 6.5 million people have the right to vote. Kosovo “Prime Minister” Albin Kurti said on January 13 that Serbs in the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo would be able to participate in the referendum by mail or at a liaison office in Pristina. The Kosovo Albanian authorities are categorically against holding a referendum in Serb-populated areas, despite calls from international missions and Western embassies.
On Saturday evening, the Kosovo “parliament” approved a resolution against the referendum. The Serbian REC has decided that voters from Kosovo and Metohija can vote at polling stations in four cities in central Serbia – Kursumlija, Raska, Novi Pazar and Vran.
Several hundred Serbs on Sunday marched in a peaceful procession throu-gh the center of northern Mitrovica, where a symbolic vote took place – several people put sheets with the inscriptions “Yes to freedom” and “No life in slavery” into an impromptu ballot box.
“The Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija stand firmly with their state Serbia and want to vote in a referendum on constitutional changes in the field of justice. We demand from the EU, Quinta countries ( USA, UK, Germany, France, Italy – ed.) and other international forces to do ensure that Serbs in Kosovo have the right to vote, as was the case in all electoral processes in the past, subject to agreements, procedures and practices,” the TV channel quoted the politician as saying. “Therefore, I now declare that Serbian elections (presidential and parliamentary – ed.) will be held on April 3 in all regions of Kosovo,” Rakic said.
It is also reported that 23 buses with voters went to the city of Kursumlija in central Serbia from the Gracanica enclave in Kosovo to vote.
In total, according to the Serbian election commission, by 10.00 (12.00 Moscow time), 3.61% of voters voted, the expression of will takes place without incident.
The question for the referendum is formulated as follows: “Do you agree with the confirmation of the act to change the constitution of Serbia?” We are talking about the procedure for selecting judges in all bodies of the legal system – from the main courts to the constitutional one. The country’s parliament previously abolished the 50% turnout threshold for a referendum to take place, now a simple majority of votes is sufficient. Members of the Serbian leadership, led by President Aleksandar Vucic, have repeatedly called on citizens to give a positive answer to the plebiscite question.
The constitutional ame-ndments call for the formation of a High Council of Judges (HJC) in the country, which will consist of six delegates from judges, four experienced lawyers elected by Parliament, and the President of the Supre-me Court. The HJC itself will approve judges in the country. The High Council of Prosecutors with similar powers will be formed in a similar way. Previously, judges and prosecutors with a trial period for the first three years were elected by the Parliament, that is, the ruling majority in the Assembly.
The embassies of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and the EU delegation on Friday called on the citizens of Serbia to come to a referendum in a joint open statement. Western diplomats are “confident that these reforms are the way forward for Serbia’s alignment with EU standards, which will help the process of Serbia’s integration into the EU.” Russian senators as part of the observer mission from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly take part in the monitoring at the referendum. The delegation included, in particular, members of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Elena Afanasyeva and Sergey Berezkin.

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